Up until a few weeks ago, this has been a year of grace for me personally. I was enjoying life and things were going well.  However, it does not mean that I am insensitive to the many natural disasters and other horrific events going on including the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and political unrest and undertones of war. It seems a huge cataclysmic time of change and transition.

I began to find myself mentally trying to make sense of it all, trying to find the meaning. Projecting my spirit outwards to a time of looking back to see what lessons as humankind we need to learn and what the eventual positive outcome might be.  I began looking for whatever would distract me.  One newscaster said after the Vegas incident that it often takes the worst things to bring out the best in humans.  One survivor in Puerto Rico said the island looked as if were destroyed in nuclear war.  Why can’t we humans always bring forth our best?  Why it is world leaders think weaponry and displays of power is a solution?  I am not looking for debate or even simple solutions.

I have tried every coping skill I have in the past weeks. Even though life in general for me is going well- I do not want to be in my body right now.  This became evident when first I took a nasty fall at 5:00 in the morning nearly breaking two toes and smashing my knee on concrete.  One week later in a freak accident while turning out horses at a local rescue, I got between a panicked horse and fence and was kicked just above my ankle.  My lower leg is twice the size and incredible hues of black, purple, green and yellow.  It blistered and has been oozing at the actual kick site.  I did not even shed a tear.   I just continued to push through my pain, because others were suffering so much more.  Is the instability in this world affecting me and being reflected in my own personal instability?  I certainly feel out of balance.  Perhaps I could just rationalize it off as my balance is impacted by my aging body.  Is my body saying “slow down?”  I have been feeling frantic with no real explanation.  Pushing how I was feeling away, denial, distractions, feeling powerless, physical, mental and emotional pain became overwhelming.  I decided to be mindful about it and sit with it.  Knowing answers may not come- but feeling it anyway.

I remembered a beautiful Buddhist chant: The Great Bell Chant (The End of Suffering) with words read by Thich Nhat Hanh.

May the sound of this bell penetrate deep into the cosmos, even in the darkest spots. Living beings are able to hear it clearly so that all suffering in them cease, understanding comes to their heart, and they transcend the path of sorrow and death.

I spent Sunday morning listening to this video on YouTube over and over. The chant became my prayer. I turned the volume up.  I began to release the deep sorrow I felt over the suffering.  I felt the pain in my body, my heart, my mind and in my spirit.  I felt pain for Mother Earth.  I felt pain for humanity.  I feel pain for this great transition. I felt how deeply I wanted the whole scheme of things to be released from suffering.  I felt sorrow for my friend who is healing from severe childhood abuse and neglect.  I feel deeply for a client diagnosed with breast cancer. I feel for those seeking relief from the anguish of mental health issues.  I have a dear friend in crisis over her faith due to being overwhelmed with caregiving.  I have been sick at heart with my experiences at the horse rescue over the horses that end up with kill buyers to be shipped across the border to become meat.  What little I do, holding space seems like such a tiny drop in the bucket. It is not enough! I have briefly touched some of the darkest places in the cosmos. I have seen/ experienced transcendence. I seek the highest possible outcome for those who suffer.

Feeling deeply leads to compassion, hope and faith. Only then could I return to my belief in the cosmos and the beauty and value of this planet and all beings.  My spirit refuses to give up on concepts like understanding comes to their heart, they transcend, humans can gain a higher consciousness and find deeper meaning and value life and the gifts of this planet.  Perhaps one day higher understanding will penetrate deeply to the darkest spots of the cosmos.  Staying present and looking for the minute things in each perfect moment counts.  Manifesting for the highest good could become realized.

Sunday afternoon we went out in the warm fall sunshine to visit our rescue horse that we have boarded on a 100 acre pasture. I noticed migrating butterflies on late blooms.  I smelled the pine trees and turning leaves.  Nature helped me to transcend the pain in my leg as I hobbled the mile on the dirt track to find our rescue horse. She was calm and responsive that day in her new surroundings.  I felt gratitude and relief. The afternoon was breathtakingly beautiful with the bright blue sky above us.  Each season reminds us of transitions.  I found myself once again offering up prayers that this season of instability and cataclysmic change will be completed with kindness and grace and the highest healing of powers- love.